NYFW: Why you won’t be able to leave town

Written by Katelyn Bogucki, CNN

Ici-retail is back in town. And New York shoppers are coming back in droves.

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The lines to sit in on apparel fashion presentations and try on the latest trends in style and fashion were ungodly long this week. The returns policy for fashions in the front row of the runway collections, delayed by a snowstorm earlier this month, made an instant impact on shoppers, too.

In tandem with The New York Collection (TFS), a retail-related event dedicated to “simplifying the complexity of shopping,” several high-end boutiques and department stores opened their doors to the public. Brands including Fendi, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, and Coach were among those on offer.

From the beginning, New York TFS was criticized for the excessive costs of its $500 ticket price, the increasing noise of the runway shows, the prohibitively high-priced labels — and perhaps most notably, for its failure to attract a major department store sponsor. “It’s not a good sign if you can’t get Ralph Lauren,” Fortune magazine declared .

As reported last year, major retailers such as Macy’s, Target, Nordstrom, and American Eagle Outfitters — all major Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York tenants — did not jump on board. Thus, this year, New York TFS was able to partner with SoHo boutique Maxfield for a range of retail activations. On Tuesday, November 28, SoHo’s heavy-hitting market department store Barneys announced its signing of a lease with Maxfield for a Soho retail store.

According to Sarah Darling, a representative from Fashion Workshop , a New York-based consulting firm that works with over 25 retail brands including Samsonite, and TJ Maxx, Retail Design & Development, the vast retail shift occurred before New York TFS was even announced.

In the spring of 2016, interest in the boutique retail experience was at an all-time high, Darling said, and retailers saw an opportunity to capitalize on “the desire to go to a really special and elevated experience.”

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With the latest round of trends and runway trends seeping into the psyche of the fashion community, retailers have high hopes that this year’s event will be another smash hit.

“This is a super important event in the New York retail community, and I believe that the last few years has really been a turn-around in terms of the fashion industry and retail for a New York retail audience,” said Mickey Drexler, chairman and CEO of J. Crew .

New York TFS returns again this year from January 28 through March 31, 2018.

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